A series of lawsuits were filed against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige by a team of eight victims’ rights attorneys on Tuesday on behalf of defectors who say they suffered a range of exploitation from child abuse, human trafficking and forced labor.

The lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of an unnamed Jane Doe born in 1979, outlines her lifetime of alleged suffering in Scientology. She states that she was subjected to abuse as a child at the Clearwater headquarters and Scientology’s spiritual counseling, which can more resemble interrogation. According to Doe, she joined the church’s clergy-like Sea Org in California at 15, where people worked 100 hours a week for $46. She was at times held against her will, but she officially left Scientology in 2017. After she left, she was followed by private investigators and terrorized by the church as it published a “hate website” falsely stating she was an alcoholic dismissed from the sect for promiscuity.

“This isn’t going to be the last of the lawsuits being filed,” Philadelphia-based attorney Brian Kent told the Tampa Bay Times. He declined to say how many more lawsuits are forthcoming.

The legal team is made up of lawyers from Laffey, Bucci & Kent LLP and Soloff & Zervanos PC of Philadelphia; Thompson Law Offices in California; and Child USA, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit dedicated to preventing child abuse.


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Kent said Doe’s name was withheld “to protect her from additional public harassment” by the church.

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